Expand Tool Manages App Traffic Across WANs

Expand Networks' ExpandView applications traffic management tool identifies the types of applications traversing enterprise WAN links.

WAN optimization provider Expand Networks Inc. on Dec. 8 will launch a new applications traffic management tool that promises to bring greater visibility into how applications are performing across enterprise WANs.

The Roseland, N.J., company will introduce its ExpandView application traffic management software, which can discover and classify some 100 different enterprise applications, such as Oracle, SAP, Citrix and Microsoft Exchange 2003.

The centralized tool works with Expand Networks Accelerator line of WAN optimization appliances installed in branch offices and data centers to identify the types of applications traversing enterprise WAN links. Once traffic is classified, users can selectively accelerate and prioritize application traffic traversing the WAN.

Quality of service priorities can be established by ExpandView and propagated out to each Accelerator, which enforces those policies. A range of different templates are used to create policies for different applications—such as how much bandwidth to allocate to Citrix traffic, and what priority voice over IP traffic gets. Once policies are established, they can be sent in a single action to all Accelerators in the network for enforcement.

Accelerators are preconfigured with different parameters for identifying applications traffic, including using Layer 2 MAC addresses, Layer 3 IP addresses and port numbers. "If you find out that 50 percent of your traffic is unclassified, you can go into [the tool] to see what your top talkers are by their IP addresses and port numbers and then go in and find out what the application was," said Pedro Colaco, vice president of marketing for Expand Networks.

ExpandView can also work with Accelerators to automatically address performance problems caused by WAN links. "We can define within ExpandView that if acceleration on a link is less than 50 percent, do [this] action. It enables network managers to take a very systematic approach," said Colaco.

The tool, which also provides centralized administration and management of Accelerator appliances for larger installations, provides a reporting mechanism to allow users to view statistics on performance, throughput, link utilization, error rates and so on.

ExpandView, which runs on Windows 2000, Windows NT and Windows XP, communicates with Accelerators using standard communications protocols including Simple Network Management Protocol, Telnet, File Transfer Protocol and HTTP.

It is due in January and is priced at $5,000.